social networking

What Difference Does a Virtual Street Team Make?

social media buzz
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

social media buzzAfter reading yesterday’s post,  What Is a virtual street team? you might be thinking, “The people who are passionate about our organization are already talking about it in social media.”

If that’s true, great!  But even so I guarantee without a virtual street team you’re only getting a small fraction of the benefits of social media.

That’s because simply being in social media is not nearly as powerful as the momentum that comes from creating buzz in social media.  To demonstrate that point, here are…

6 Ways Social Media Buzz Creates Momentum

1) Facebook “Top News.” When you login to Facebook, by default Facebook shows you the “Top News.”  These are the status updates, links, and pics that have gotten the most comments and likes.  If an update has several comments and likes there’s a good chance it will be at the top of your Facebook fans “Top News” and will be seen by almost all of them.  If it has no comments or likes, you have to hope your Facebook fans are either online when you’ve posted the update or scroll down and see it.

2) Twitter Retweets. Very few people read all the tweets of all the people they follow on Twitter.  When something is tweeted and retweeted many times over the course of days or weeks, it greatly increases the chances that people will see it.  Not only that, but most people have a tendancy to skim their tweets & not click.  But I know if I see something retweeted by several of my friends, I think “This must be good” and I click.

3) Digg Front Page. If you’ve heard anything about social news site Digg, it’s that Digg’s front page is the holy grail for articles.  Articles that make the front page get a deluge of traffic.  Articles with 1 or 2 votes on Digg get almost no traffic.

4) YouTube Search. When you search for a video on YouTube, the number of views a video has factors in to where YouTube places it in the search results.  A video with a million views will show up above a video with a thousand views which will show up above a video with 20 views.  Additionally, think about your own YouTube usage.  If you’re looking for something and see one video with a million views and another with 20 views, isn’t your inclination to watch the one with a million views? That’s my inclination because I figure there must be some reason everyone’s been watching it.

5) Blog Comments, Shares, Retweets. Similarly, when I go to a blog and see a post has dozens of comments, Facebook shares, and Retweets, you’re more likely to read it than a post that has zeros across the board.

6) Enthusiasm everywhere! In addition to the effect the sheer numbers have on creating buzz and momentum, the enthusiasm of the comments associated with them makes a huge difference.  If someone I know simply retweets a link or shares it on Facebook, I may click if the title seams really interesting.  But if they say, “Great article!” or “Brilliant post!” or “Must-see video!” that greatly increases the chances I’ll click.

How Does This Relate to Street Teams?

Without a virtual street team, you’re not going to get nearly the buzz you otherwise could.  People who are passionate about your mission will miss a lot of your tweets and Facebook status updates.  More often than not they won’t comment on or share links.  Their enthusiasm will be hit or miss.

With a virtual street team, you can build excitement in your team and focus it in a concerted effort that will create excitement, buzz, and momentum in social media.

A virtual street team can create the critical mass needed for something to go viral.

How important do you think it is to create buzz in social media compared with just being in social media? What do you think about a virtual street team’s role in creating buzz and generating momentum?

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.


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